I feel the end of summer in my bones, in a way that a girl my age shouldn’t even know exists. I have almost always felt the change in time the way a woman twice my age is only just beginning to understand. Someone told me once that my face is young, but my wisdom is old and that if I learn from my mistakes like a wise woman should, I can call this knowledge a blessing.
This is the first summer ending in which I don’t feel used and I don’t feel tired. I feel grown up and inspired. I wanted this year to bring about change that I wasn’t strong enough to make happen, but somehow the universe stepped in and made some changes for me. Slowly, very slowly, I am making baby steps towards a stronger, more evolved version of myself. There has always been a wiser version of myself in my bones, but today she exists in my head and in my heart.
Why does God choose to give us the blessings that we get? Some are given talents beyond the wildest dreams of their peers, some have to look hard to find something to be proud of within themselves, but we all have gifts. We just have to know that they are there. Maybe the biggest gift is knowing how to act like you are blessed, even when you don’t KNOW for sure that you are. I think that is the easiest way to define faith. For me, faith is finding a way to act like a better person, even if you don’t know for sure that’s what you want to be.
At the beginning of this year, I set off on a mission to find myself. I searched in temples in Thailand and Cambodia, on an island in Vietnam, in cafes in Spain, on a surfboard in Portugal. I did indeed find pieces of myself all over those places, but couldn’t really manage to put them all together to paint this beautiful picture of a life that I want so desperately paint. It hurt. It felt like all that time was a waste, all the money was a waste. I felt like a fraud. I know I sounded cool to other people, but deep down inside I felt like a fraud. It took a great fall on my bike and a lot of time on my hands for me to see that I am in no way a fraud. I’m just a girl who doesn’t understand how or why to live her life like it’s already a beautiful picture, instead of searching everywhere for unattainable paint and brushes. But I get it now; I do. Somehow, somewhere, I figured this much about myself out. It really doesn’t matter how many stamps I have on my passport, or if I ever find my true love, or if I ever learn to play the ukelele. What matters is how much I love what I have, here and now. And part of loving what I have today is showing others how to do the same thing themselves. We are not supposed to be unhappy people. We are supposed to search, everday, for something that makes us happy, yes. Some mistake searching for longing, and I can assure you that they are not the same thing. And then there are those that have a harder time finding out what those things that make them happy are, but those of us that don’t, we are supposed to lead by example. Honestly, how often has your life been touched by someone who really loved what they did? How many teachers have touched your life? How many musicians, artists, etc. have CHANGED your life? They didn’t do it all for you, trust me. They did it for themselves too. So, think about that the next time you feel bad for finding joy in your life. I know that many people believe that we are here on this earth to suffer, but I can assure you, we are not. We are here to LOVE and be HAPPY and show other people how to do the same.
Thanks to those of you that have taught me these lessons. I appreciate you for all that you do. I love you.